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$800,000 needed for new horse barns

By JOE CENTERS • Mar 19, 2019 at 4:00 AM

The Huron County Fair may be months away, but there still is plenty of work going on behind the scenes.

And the biggest project in the works right now is a fundraiser for a new horse barn.

The Huron County Horse Council, a non-profit, county-wide group of 4-H advisers, is raising money to build a new 40,000-square-foot horse barn and show arena set to start this fall. Cost of the project is $800,000.

The current barn is in poor shape with many badly needed repairs, according to a letter sent to potential donors.  

“Therefore, it is unsafe for our 4-H members, the public and their animals,” according to the letter. “Therefore, we are asking for your support in meeting one of our most important challenges ever. In order to achieve our goal, our plan is to have fundraising through the 2019 fair, with the tear-down of old barns to begin soon after. We are counting on you to make this happen by offering several options.”

Those options include: Donation in any amount; Platinum Member with a donation of $20,000; Gold Member with a donation of $10,000; of a Silver Member with a donation of $5,000.

The highest cash donor will have the option to name the arena and the next two highest cash donors will have the option to name a barn.

The council has set up a number of fundraisers:

• Public garage sale April 20 at the Huron County Fairgrounds. 

• Open speed show 11 a.m. May 25 with an exhibition at 9.

• Open pleasure/speed show 9 a.m. June 22.

• Silent auction fair week Aug. 12 to 17.

For more information call Carol Clemons, Build the Barn project leader, at 419-681-0168.

“I have 10 4-H horse groups helping us,” Clemons said. “The decision came because our barns are in bad shape and the fair board doesn’t have the money.

“We have talked about it for about three years but nothing happened. This year I said sombody has to take charge and go for it. Everybody is helping my but somebody has to take charge.”

Clemons called the present horse barns “patched up little pieces of stalls. We have to have a new barn.

“Right now we have three 4-H horse barns. We can not all fit into them so some of the kids have to go to the open draft barns. That splits the groups up.”

Clemons said this is the only way the horse groups can raise money.

“I have gone to a lot of companies and they say they support the fair by buying at the livestock sale,” she said. “We dont have that. If you get 800 people or businesses for $100 each we can do it. I have a couple of businesses saying they would give $20,000 but I haven’t seen anything yet. Midwest gave us a lawn mower for the Build the Barn raffle.

Clemons said she has sent out 300 letters with 800 more to come.

“I know this way it is a slow way to get going but it is a start,” she said. 

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